At Songhai since Sunday, 29 March 2015, Perpétua Katepa-Kalala, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization FAO Gambia provided moral support to the Gambian trainees in the center. On the evening of Tuesday, March 31, the Representative, accompanied by her assistant, Mariatou Njie, met with the trainees to inquire about the progress of their training, their needs and how to help them. Each of them introduced himself indicating the region where he comes from and the specialization area at Songhai. For most of them, they did not have prior training in agriculture and thought that this activity was rather reserved for the poor. But in Songhai, they got a completely different idea. They realized that agriculture is for everyone and benefits anyone who invests himself the most. The first things that impressed them upon arrival at Songhai is the integrated system and then the discipline. They have not lost their enthusiasm of departure; On the contrary, they were seduced by Fr Nzamujo who now represents for them a model and an example of success. Already at this stage of their training they are convinced to marvel once they are back home. They have already developed a list of projects that they have communicated to the Representative: set up in their area a center on Songhai model, train the youths, triple the annual agricultural production in the Gambia … And to this effect, they requested to be effectively supported, because, according to them, they are often used as political instruments. Usually after such trainings, the youths are left behind and not able to take advantage of lessons learned. They do not want this to happen with them and thanked the Representative to have spent time to listen to them. She especially encouraged them to persevere till the end of the training. Also, she has indicated institutions such as IFAD, which can help them financially to set up their project. FAO does not make cash donations, but in kind, the Representative explained, adding that all she can do is to guide and provide them with moral and technical support.

On Monday, March 30, Perpétua Katepa-Kalala conducted a comprehensive and detailed tour of the Songhai Centre in Porto Novo and Ketou.


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